KLCI falls 13.7pts, ringgit weakens

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 29): The FBM KLCI fell 13.7 points or 0.76% in line with Asian markets, as investors eyed potential US interest rate hikes, and Greece's political backdrop and financial markets.

Still-weak crude oil prices and the ringgit's depreciation were also closely watched. At 5pm, KLCI settled at 1,782.18 points on losses in stocks like AMMB Holdings Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

“The fall today is mostly due to external factors such as the US corporate earnings results, the situation in Europe and Greece, lower oil prices and probably the weakened ringgit,” JF Apex Securities Bhd analyst Lee Cherng Wee told theedgemarkets.com

Markets slipped across the region. South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.54%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 1.07%. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.06%.

Reuters reported Asian shares extended losses on Thursday, after the Federal Reserve took an upbeat view on the U.S. economy and signalled it remains firmly on track, to raise interest rates this year, despite an uncertain global outlook.

Meanwhile, the ringgit weakened to 3.6285 against the US dollar. Compared to the Singapore dollar, the ringgit changed hands at 2.6843.

Bursa Malaysia saw 1.89 billion shares, worth RM2.23 billion, traded. Decliners overshadowed gainers at 581 against 262, while 301 counters were unchanged.

The top decliner was Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, while LPI Capital Bhd led gainers. Globaltec Formation Bhd was the most active stock.